After a process of more than 2 years, the draft of the final document – the Zero Draft – on the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has finally been published. Entitled “Transforming our World by 2030 – A New Agenda for Global Action”, it includes the goals and targets advocated by Biovision and the Millennium Institute in the “Changing Course in Global Agriculture” project.
The priority now is to ensure that the document adopted at the UN Summit in September is substantially the same as this draft.
According to Elizabeth Stuart from the British Overseas Development Institute, the draft can be regarded as a glass three-quarters full. However, it lacks clear deliverables that would actually achieve the aim of “leaving no-one behind”. In addition, the funding commitments for implementation of the SDGs remain very vague.
“So, there are clearly improvements to be made. But overall this is a good start, and shows that despite the gruelling two years of negotiation, the spirit of optimism and ambition is still alive in the negotiating rooms of the UN. The challenge now is to keep that flame burning for the final stretch,” said Stuart.
Biovision and the Millennium Institute had concentrated their energies primarily on Goal No. 2. which covers food security and sustainable agriculture. The eight targets for this goal broadly correspond to their input:
- 1. Ensure access to adequate food
- 2. Combat hunger and malnutrition
- 3. Support small food producers
- 4. Promote sustainable agriculture and food systems
- 5. Maintain the diversity of seeds
- 6. Increase investment in agricultural infrastructure and research
- 7. Improve global food commodity markets
- 8. Control excessive volatility in the price of agricultural produce
In addition, Target 12.3 (Reduce food losses and waste) and 15.3 (Soil degradation) reflect important points that Biovision repeatedly championed during the negotiations.
The CCGA priorities were developed in particular at the High Level Roundtable in March 2014 in New York; they were then summarised and submitted to member states of the United Nations.
Its constant presence in New York allowed CCGA to respond promptly to developments during the negotiations, e.g. with alternative proposals for wording as part of the bilateral discussions with the negotiators.
We believe that the current draft creates the basis for a global change in agriculture. However, as stated in the FAO report “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015”, published this week, the Millennium Development Goals have not been achieved – albeit we were not far off – and the challenges relating to the fight against hunger and the transition to sustainable food systems remain considerable.
Discussion on the Zero Draft will commence on 22 June and the delegations are expected to reach a consensus by the end of July so that heads of government can agree the new Post-2015 Development Agenda in September 2015. In parallel to that, negotiations on the development funding will continue; they are crucial to the implementation of the goals – in particular Goal No. 2.
CCGA will continue to play an active role in the final stages of the negotiations to ensure that the ambitious goals and targets are included in the final document. Similarly, Biovision will also lobby for concrete funding for implementation of the agricultural goals and is planning to send a delegation including Hans Herren to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Abeba in July 2015.